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Amplifier Choice - Moon, Hegel or?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Allaboutmusic, May 5, 2020.

  1. IMHO look out for some mint Dynaudio F160s and then a Rega Elicit R amp. I have heard these, they really do go well together.
  2. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    I'd say don't worry about getting speakers that are 'too good' for your existing setup. Quite the reverse, in fact, as a) your setup is probably better than you give it credit for and will probably rise to the occasion somewhat, anyway; b) the better the speakers, the better they'll help you identify where you want to focus your attention on upgrades; and c) once you've upgraded the rest of the system as you intend, your speakers will still be up to the job required of them.
    Allaboutmusic likes this.
  3. Hugh Gallagher

    Hugh Gallagher Active Member

    This is an interesting thread as I'm currently looking for an integrated amp to use with my Shahinian Arc 2's. I've tried a Moon 340iX, a Hegel H390, Rega Aethos and Naim Nait XS3 (I know this isn't in the same price range but the Supernait 3 wasn't available).

    I previously owned a Naim 282 / Hi-Cap / 250 and I want to get away from the multiple boxes. Something that also offers digital connectivity would also be useful, but not essential.

    I love the Rega. It's really open and detailed. The imaging and depth is superb, but the music seems to sit behind the speakers, it doesn't project and have the drive that I got used to with my Naim equipment.

    I liked the Hegel but it's too big to fit into my cabinet, so sadly I'll probably have to rule it out, but before I do, I've got a home demo of the Hegel, the Moon and the Rega. I'll report back with my findings. It will be interesting as I've only had the three amps in isolation before. This will be the first chance I've had to play all 3 side-by-side. I'll report back.
  4. Hugh Gallagher

    Hugh Gallagher Active Member

    Results are in.

    All three are great amplifiers. The Rega is an impressive piece of equipment, but I found it a bit too polite for my tastes. It's really detailed and musical but didn't drive the music at me like the other amps did. I owned a Brio a few years ago. I loved the way it presented things. If the Aethos did the same, but with all the musicality and detail that it possesses, it would be perfect. It just feels like it's lost some of the excitement that the cheaper Rega amps have.

    The Moon was the amplifier I was most looking forward to hearing. On paper it ticked all the boxes. I'd read a review where they said that some listeners might like a more forward presentation, leading me to think that it might be a bit safe sounding. I found the complete opposite. It made everything sound enormous, so much so that all of the intricacies in the music felt like they were being over amplified and as a result there was a distinct lack of soundstage. It was like the amplifier was forcing everything at me at once. A huge bottom end and vocals so dominant that they felt like they were detached from the music. Interestingly, my dealer said that he'd run the 340iX at home for a couple of days and found the same thing. He uses the same speakers that I do. Maybe Moon amplifiers aren't particularly well suited to Shahinian speakers? He pointed out that he normally found himself turning an amplifier up as he listened, but in this instance he found himself wanting to turn it down. I know exactly what he meant. At lower volumes it was really nice, but when you increased the level it all became a bit too much.

    Based on price, the Hegel H190 is probably the amplifier that I should have been comparing to the Rega and the Moon, so you'd expect the H390 to be the better amp. It wasn't just a bit better, it was streets ahead. More grip, more control, greater detail, more detailed, and most importantly, more musical. It's a stunning product and whilst at the top end of my budget, well worth the extra expense. A smart move on the part of the retailer to have dangled the H390 carrot in my direction, but his experience with the product obviously told him that it could well offer what I was searching for. He wasn't wrong, and as he pointed out, had he played me the H190 I'd have heard three very good amplifiers and would probably have purchased one, but by taking a bit of a step up, and not for a huge amount more, I've found something very special.

    Now, I just need to find out if my cabinet can be modified to take the amp. :-/
  5. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    Interesting, and I agree that you'd have been underwhelmed with the Hegel 190. I've heard the 190 and found it a bit 'meh'. I've also heard the 590 and it's great. I believe the 390 is a bit of a sweet spot, a lot of what I liked in the 590, but a fair bit cheaper.
  6. Hugh Gallagher

    Hugh Gallagher Active Member

    I read that Hegel called the H390 'Robin Hood' during the development stages, in reference to it taking a lot from the H590. I've never heard the 590. From what I've read and from talking to people who have, they all seem to say the same thing. Hegel has shot themselves in the foot because the 390 offers so much of what the 590 does for a lot less money.
    hifinutt likes this.
  7. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Since getting an amp with power output meters, I've become fascinated by the bloody things. It seems that my audio world lives in the 0-0.1w range, and if I dare to venture as close as an indicated 1w, I am already well into 'wife and kids complaining' territory, and beyond that I might be in danger of unsettling the chimney stack, which I really ought to get looked at. This into average-to-high-ish sensitivity speakers in an 18' x 15 x 10'ish room.

    Quite what I'm going to do with the other 74-and-a-bit watts I don't know. But, like the power in a large engined car, it's just nice to have it there 'just in case'....
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  8. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    your results echo the recent amp comparison of krell , ml and hegel 390 comparsion in hifi critic
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    VU meters are just a styling gimmick really... don't expect total accuracy, also they can't move fast enough to catch the true peaks usually. LED bar graph peak reading meters are much better. They gives a good indication though and yes it can be surprising just how little power you are using, even if it is likely the peaks are more like 1-2W in reality...
    Equally surprising though is how much power you are using if you want to really turn it up! The human ear whilst amazing is very inaccurate and distorted by any scientific criterion... as it's our only reference it sounds perfect to us of course but if you get up to averaging 1W and decide you want it to sound twice as loud then you'll be hovering around 10W, not 2... want it twice as loud again? 100W! hence it's amazing how little power you need for "normal" levels but also amazing how much you need for genuinely realistic levels.
    Darren L and JTC like this.

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